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Fresno State Police Chief David Huerta dies, university confirms. Had double lung transplant

Fresno State police chief David Huerta, seen speaking at a November 2015 news conference on campus, died Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, the university said.
Fresno State police chief David Huerta, seen speaking at a November 2015 news conference on campus, died Friday, Aug. 16, 2019, the university said. Fresno Bee file

Fresno State Police Chief David Huerta died Friday after a long period in the hospital, university officials confirmed Saturday.

Huerta, who served as chief of the university police department since 2004, underwent a double lung transplant in August 2018. The university held a three-day blood drive the following month.

Huerta was hospitalized at UCSF Medical Center for 13 months following his surgery, according to Fresno State spokeswoman Lisa Boyles. She said Huerta died surrounded by family. He was 68.

In a statement, university President Joseph Castro said Huerta was an “exemplary leader” of the police department.

“He had unwavering integrity, even under the most challenging circumstances,” Castro said.

Flags at the university will be lowered on the day of Huerta’s memorial services; details have not been made public.

Before joining the university police department, Huerta had spent 30 years with the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, eventually retiring as a lieutenant, according to the university.

Huerta was a Fresno Stat alum. He got his master’s degree in criminology in 1992. He also taught courses at Fresno State and National University as well as Clovis Unified District’s Regional Occupation Program, according to Fresno State.

Huerta was married to his wife Cynthia and had four children. He is also survived by his father Pete and a brother and sister.

Cresencio Rodriguez-Delgado is a journalist at The Fresno Bee. He covers the people and places experiencing economic and social inequity for The California Divide media collaboration. He grew up in the southern San Joaquin Valley and has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism from Fresno State.
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